About

School Leadership

Nora Anderson, Head of School

Nora Anderson is in her sixteenth year as Head of Carmel Academy. Nora has overseen Carmel Academy's growth from a small, community day school on the second floor of a synagogue to an accredited institution with 225 students on a 17-acre campus. She has been a presenter at RAVSAK and PEJE Conferences, has served as a mentor in the RAVSAK-AVI CHAI SuLaM program for Heads of School with limited Jewish background, and is currently a mentor in the prestigious Day School Leadership Training Institute (DSLTI), a joint JTS and AVI CHAI foundation venture. Nora also serves on the Board of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools, and has also served on the editorial board of HaYidion, Prizmah Center For Jewish Day Schools' quarterly publication.

Prior to joining Carmel Academy, Nora served as an Assistant Principal for the Middle School in Dobbs Ferry, NY, and prior to that as an Assistant Principal at PS 95 in the Bronx, NY. She holds Master's degrees in School Supervision and Administration and in School Guidance and Counseling from Bank Street College and Lehman College, respectively.  She holds additional advanced certifications from Columbia University Business School Executive Educations’ Institute for Day School Leaders and from Teachers College. Nora began her career as a mathematics teacher and also worked as a Middle School Guidance Counselor for ten years.

She was raised in Lima, Peru and lives in New York City with her husband. She has brought up five children including her youngest son, Noam, a Carmel Academy alumnus who recently finished his service in the Israel Defense Force.

Yael Slonim, Chief Operations Officer

Yael comes to Carmel Academy after a 17-year career in hospital administration with expertise in operations, finance, human resources, regulatory compliance and program development. She was appointed after a nationwide search supported by a committee of Carmel Academy Trustees, volunteer and staff leadership.

Yael holds a Masters in Public Health from Yale University and an undergraduate degree in political science from Barnard College. Her career in hospital administration spans from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where she held administrator, manager, supervisory and project administrator positions in an array of operations. She comes to Carmel Academy from Westmed Medical Group, where she was the Site Director in White Plains and Scarsdale, overseeing the operations of both practices, which encompasses 20 medical specialties and more that 340 providers and staff.
 
Yael lives in White Plains with her husband and three children. Born in Israel, she grew up in Nashville, TN and Great Neck, NY. An alumna of Jewish day and high schools, she is deeply committed to Jewish education, the greater Jewish community and Israel. She recently concluded a four-year term as a member of the Hebrew Institute of White Plains Board of Directors.

Dr. Tali Aldouby-Schuck, Director of Judaic Studies Curriculum & Professional Development

Dr. Tali Aldouby-Schuck served as a TaNaKH Educator Consultant for the AVI CHAI Jewish Day School Standards and Benchmarks Project. She completed her Doctorate in Education and Jewish Studies at the NYU Steinhardt School of Education. Her dissertation research explored how Catholic and Jewish Bible teachers' instructional practices are informed by their background, ideas and beliefs regarding the Bible.

While pursuing her doctorate at NYU, Tali provided classroom supervision and mentoring for students pursuing their Master's Degree in Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary's Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education. In addition to teaching Bible at the Abraham Joshua Heschel School in Manhattan, Tali was a Melton Fellow at the Hebrew University. Her research focused on Bible teachers in American Jewish day schools who grew up as secular Israelis and how their secular upbringing influenced their pedagogy and content choices.

Tali is an alumna of The Paradigm Program, introducing a new approach to understanding Jewish identity through the lens multi-cultural settings, philosophy and society. She grew up in Israel and served in the IDF as a Squad Leader and a Krav Maga Instructor in Basic Training. Tali resides in New Rochelle, NY with her husband, Rabbi David Schuck, and their three children.

Lisa Corner, Director of Educational Resources and PALS

Carmel Academy welcomed Lisa Corner in July as the new Director of Educational Resources and PALS. Corner is a special educator with deep experience using many social, emotional, and behavioral curricular approaches. She began her career teaching adolescents, subsequently segueing to early childhood education when she joined the team of the Therapeutic Nursery (TN) at the Tenafly JCC. There she led the program that included Speech/Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and intense focus on social-emotional learning, while running multiple social skills groups for children of all ages. Corner has also collaborated extensively with Dr. Michelle Dunn in her research and authorship of the Social Skills in Our Schools (SOS) curriculum, which Carmel Academy began using in 2018, and is one of the authors on the newest SOS book being published this fall.

Dr. Jeff Kilstein, Director of Guidance

Dr. Jeff Kilstein serves as the Director of Guidance at Carmel Academy. Originally from New Jersey, Jeff studied psychology and English Literature at Yeshiva University in New York City. He first became acquainted with Carmel while working as the Youth Director at the Young Israel of Stamford. He then began his career with Carmel as a middle school Rabbinics teacher, while simultaneously pursuing his doctorate in psychology at Yeshiva University. Upon completion of his internship, he returned to Carmel to serve first as School Psychologist, then as Director of Guidance.

Jeff has training and work experience in a variety of school and therapeutic programs, including White Plains Hospital, the Rose F. Kennedy Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (RFK CERC) of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshivat Noam, and Bi-Cultural Day School. He has spent several summers working as the Lead Teacher of New York University’s Child Study Center’s Summer Program for Kids (SPK) teaching children with ADHD. Jeff and his wife Talia, also a child psychologist, live in Stamford, CT.

Lisa Mendler, School Social Worker

Born and raised in Rochester, NY, Lisa serves as the School Social Worker at Carmel Academy. Before starting at Carmel, Lisa worked for five years in the New York City public school system both as a social worker and as a special education teacher in elementary schools in Brownsville, Brooklyn, and in the South Bronx. She holds a Masters Degree in Childhood Education from Relay Graduate School of Education as well as a Masters Degree in Social Work from Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work.
 
Lisa has therapeutic experience in a variety of other settings, including Bronx Lebanon Hospital Child and Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatric Unit, and the Allegheny County Office of the Public Defender in Pittsburgh, PA, where she worked with adolescents in a juvenile detention center. Lisa and her husband, Rabbi Zachary Sitkin, live in New Rochelle with their son, Avi.

Rabbi Rachmiel Gurwitz, Rabbi-In-Residence

Originally from San Diego, Rabbi Gurwitz received his smicha, rabbinical ordination, from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT) in Riverdale, NY. While pursuing smicha, Rabbi Gurwitz work in a variety roles including as a chaplain with Holocaust survivors, with T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights in a Filipino migrant workers’ rights organization, and built his entrepreneurial repertoire as a fellow with the Office of Innovation at Hillel International. Rabbi Gurwitz has also worked with many different age groups as a teacher at the JCC Meyerhoff Early Childhood Education Center in Baltimore to Eden Village Camp, and in the college context at the Bronfman Center at NYU and Muhlenberg College Hillel. Prior to his ordination from YCT, Rabbi Gurwitz received a Bachelor of Arts in Global and International Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara; and completed post baccalaureate studies at the David Shapell College of Jewish Studies/Darche Noam Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Gurwitz is passionate about making Judaism, sacred texts and Jewish practice accessible and available to students of all backgrounds and abilities. He loves learning texts from the mystical tradition, especially the works of Rabbi Nachman and exploring the inner spiritual world. In his free time, you can find him baking bread from scratch or hiking off trail with his wife Joanna and sons Azariah and Zelig.

Jennifer Gensior, Director of General Studies Curriculum & Professional Development

Prior to joining Carmel Academy’s educational leadership team, Jennifer Gensior was a faculty member of The Writing Revolution, where she provided professional development and supported teachers and schools in their implementation of a research-based writing methodology. She was a Regional Special Education Trainer for the Regional Special Education Technical Assistance and Support Center, a BOCES based program funded by the New York State Department of Special Education, where she provided teacher workshops and training sessions on best practices in instruction. She also spent five years at Solomon Schechter School of Westchester where she was a fifth grade team leader and special education teacher. During her tenure at the school, she also served as Chairperson of the student support department where she helped redesign the special education department and services for the entire lower school. She has a vast amount of professional development expertise in areas of special education, reading and writing instruction and curriculum. She has also served on the Literacy Work Group, a New York statewide group that developed quality indicators in the area of literacy for grades K-12.

Jennifer holds a BA in Art History (Cum Laude)
 from Tufts University, an MPS in Childhood and Special Education from Manhattanville College, and MEd in School Administration from Hunter College.

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  • Carmel Academy is a private school for children of all Jewish affiliations, serving children from transitional kindergarten through 8th grade.

Carmel Academy is a recipient of UJA Greenwich, the United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien, Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County and The UJA Federation on New York.